Sometimes You Want To Go Where Everybody Knows Your Name…

And sometimes that’s the absolute worst idea. 

I’ve been thinking about Cheers. Not the old television show (which is still awesome, by the way) but a cocktail lounge/dive bar that we like to visit. It actually is called Cheers but there’s a number after it delineating which state road it’s on. There, that’s all the information I’m willing to give without permission from the owner and that’s too much work for a blog posting. Sorry haha. If you know me in Florida, however, you probably know where I mean. 

Now that we’re all adults – I assume we are anyway – we’ve all been in traditional dive bars/cocktail lounges. They’re dark, usually smell like stale beer and cigarettes and there will be local bands that sound great after 4 beers but in the light of day are just awful, simply awful. And that doesn’t factor in the Karaoke. Dear Lord the Karaoke. My brother has ear plugs he wears for long car trips with the kids. I may have to start bringing some for Karaoke night. 

There’s the traditional dance floor and the “scary” bathrooms. One stall in the girls didn’t have a door on it for the entire year I’ve been going there. The new owner has since fixed that and added a second ladies room. I love the new owner on principle alone. They have pool tables and darts and a video bowling game (which I seriously rock at) and a group of regulars with whom I rather enjoy talking. Veterans, divorcees, random people that look like they should be homeless but make good money, that sort of thing. 

I hold a special affection for Cheers ## as that’s where I first met my companion. 

When we go in there we are greeted by everyone. It’s a nice feeling. “Yay! AK and J! How are you guys?” etc. We’re a pretty likable couple. We’re funny, generous, smart and very entertaining. I’ll talk to pretty much anyone and most people like to randomly talk to me and my companion is along for that ride. 

In our apartment complex there lives a man. We’re going to call him B today as we all know I try not to use real names in these postings. We met him one night when we were a little “happy” after the bar and hung out with him for a couple of hours at his apartment. 

B was a nice enough guy and had some interesting stories to tell. Apparently he was a roadie for a popular hair band that still tours today. In his second bedroom he had a collection of guitars signed by other Very Popular Artists including the aforementioned hair band. My problem with the guy? It was like hanging out with a 17 year old who had just learned how to high five. 

I have nothing against a high five in general. It’s when a person wants one every third sentence that it starts to get old. B did switch it out to the fist bump once or twice but I find that equally annoying. I have small, delicate hands and I don’t like risking my typing ability by someone not understanding that, being a dick and ultimately slamming knuckles into mine. 

So, I was relatively ambivalent based on that. I know, it’s something petty to judge on but trust me, this works out in the end. 

When J and I met there was a particular bartender working that night. I really like her. We’ll call her T. 

B starts telling stories about touring with the band and all the ladies he’s been with. I’m going to fix that and make it “ladies” after some of those stories. Then he tells us about taking T to Miami or Orlando for the weekend, “banging her brains out” and then dumping her. He wanted a high five. I left him hanging. 

I can hang out with the guys pretty damn well. I’ve done it for years and I can usually ignore language like that, an attitude like that. Generally the guy is just talking smack to impress. That’s what this situation was.

We’re all in our late 30’s to early 40’s now. Is it really necessary to impress other people by bragging about a technical one night stand? And to brag about it when it’s a very nice woman who only wants the best for everyone she knows?

We didn’t speak much to the guy after that, for several months. We didn’t bump into him anywhere and I certainly wasn’t going to hunt him down. He left me with that creeper feeling most women pay attention to. 

One night I chose to skip the bar. I don’t remember why, it was just one of those things. J went with another of our friends and they hung out for a good chunk of time. Then he comes home and he’s angry. 

Apparently B isn’t satisfied with trying to humiliate women he knows. He likes to do it to men as well. Pulls macho BS to get people to do shots with him and then nitpicks and tries to create drama. When people are drinking alcohol it is very easy to get pushed into doing stupid things. No one to blame but the person who didn’t walk away but all the same. 

The next day I was talking to the same bartender. She had been there that night and gave me the story. B was a Douche Canoe. You heard me. So, in the spirit of sharing as T was trying to palm it off as B being B, I decided to tell her what he had told me. That got into a detailed conversation about what a Douche this guy is and how he’s always starting trouble at the bar. T wants to ban him and I can understand that. A few of his drama trauma moments actually had caused bar fights and for other people to get banned since they threw punches. Again, they could have walked away and avoided the guy so the blame lies equally with them but if you look at each situation it is obvious what/who the catalyst had been. 

Skip ahead another couple of months. We’re hanging out at Cheers ## and having a decent time. We hadn’t been there long. It wasn’t very late in the evening so everything was still pretty mellow. No band or Karaoke or anything like that going on so the bar is pretty quiet (aside from the AWESOME tunes I tend to play on the Jukebox).

In walks B with a young gentleman at his side. They cruise right up to T and request drinks. T leans in real close and lets him know that’s never going to happen. He’s been banned from Cheers. Permanently. No appeals. Done. Like Dinner. He slinks out the door, humiliated, with the young gentleman at his side looking confused. B looked confused as well. 

How much of a dick do you have to be to get permanently banned from a dive bar? And how humiliating is it to have it happen in front of someone you’re trying to impress with the same stories you’ve been laying on everyone else? And, my main question about this, does he realize that it is his own fault?

Knowing certain types of people the way I do I can almost imagine the conversation they had in the car as they tried another cocktail lounge. 

“Dude, she’s just pissed cuz i banged and dumper her ass. Did I tell you about Orlando?”

Other guy: “Man, that sucks. Where are we going?”

B: “I know this other place. I f’ed that bartender too.”

And on it goes in a circular fashion. 

I’m a firm believer in the Golden Rule. I constantly use it on my nieces and nephew. “If you don’t want your sister to hit you, ever, you shouldn’t hit her, ever.” “Would you like it if your brother stuck his stinky feet in your face?” and on it goes. 

My brother and sister generally use this same principle with the kids. It works. I mean, duh, right? And the kids get it. 

But a man in his mid-40’s doesn’t have a clue. 

I’ve never been banned from a place of business. I wouldn’t know how to go about causing that to happen if I wanted to. It might be interesting research but, seriously, I can’t be that much of a bitch or dick or douche canoe to other people. It darn near causes me physical pain. 

I’m not sure where I was going with all of this. I think I just wanted to share a story I’ve been mulling over today. 

I failed to mention that when B was ejected from the bar every single patron started applauding. Seriously. It started as a slow clap like in the movies and then everyone cheered. It made T feel good to stand up for herself and it made us feel good to see it happen. Plus we don’t have to deal with a Douche Canoe anymore, at least not there. I’ve not seen him at the complex since the night of the banning. 

Ultimately I think the moral of the story is pretty simple. 

Don’t be a dick to other people

Don’t act like a Douche Canoe in public

If you’re going to high five, ensure the person who could potentially leave you hanging agrees with whatever juvenile statement you’ve just laid out. 

Okay, that last one seems unnecessary and the first two are essentially repeats but I don’t care. They are three truths that should be mightily embraced. 

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